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Radiant : A Night for Women in All Stages of Life!

Radiant is less than TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!

 

But wait… what is Radiant??

Radiant is an event for women of any age and any stage of life to come together for a girls’ night out!

This year’s Radiant topic is one that can probably hit home for anyone… what to do with the “what if” questions that stop us from taking steps of faith toward those things we love; the things that make us come alive.  We want to figure out what it looks like to be brave and combat fears.  We want to take steps of faith toward our interests, ideas, and gifts with a higher purpose in mind. Instead of “what if”, we want to start asking, “What for?”

Join us for worship, finding our “brave”, and hanging out with friends over snacks and games after!  Invite any women – friends, roommates, classmates, workmates, family – who you think might like to come!

Here are the details:

  • Friday, October 17th
  • PC3 Wilmington Campus
  • Check in at 6:30pm and event begins at 7:00pm
  • Cost: $10

Register today at portcitychurch.org/radiant and we’ll see you next Friday!!

Subscribe to our PC3 Radiant Updates!

 

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You + Samaritan’s Purse = Iraq Crisis Relief

Thank you Port City Community Church.  Because of your generosity with the finances God has entrusted to you, we have been able to donate $10,000 to Samaritan’s Purse for their ongoing relief efforts in the Middle East.

As most of you know, millions of Iraqis and Syrians have been displaced with little hope of returning home.  They and many others in this area have been tragically affected by the recent horrible upsurge in terrorism.  Persecution of believers is widespread.  Yet, the Church there continues ministering to meet physical needs and continues sharing the Gospel.

Please take a minute to read this Samaritan’s Purse blog and watch the video that tells about their response - http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/iraq-crisis-response/

Please pray for the people in the Middle East, and others being affected by war and violence around the world.  Pray that – in these dire and seemingly hopeless situations – many will receive life and hope in Jesus Christ.

Again, thank you Port City Community Church for helping us be positioned to respond to those in need, in our community and around the world!

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Counting the Cost

During Part 1 of the Denied series, I explored the concept of self-denial and Jesus’ call to pick up our cross and follow Him. One of the passages I highlighted was Luke 14:25-34, which includes some of the most difficult sayings of Jesus. Over the past few days, I’ve received a few emails from individuals stating their confusion and frustration over this passage. In order to provide clarity, I wanted to spend a few moments digging deeper into this passage.

Luke 14:25-34

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. 34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Jesus opens up this passage about self-denial by establishing the most unreasonable, objectionable condition possible for not being able to be counted His disciple – namely the hatred of the most important and intimate relationships humans enjoy.

If you are wondering why Jesus would want us to hate our families, or what any of this has to do with salt, I can understand. But take a deep breath.

The Scriptures clearly state that our parents are to be honored – it’s one of the Ten Commandments – and that our spouses and children are to be loved. In fact, Jesus summed up the entire law with the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

So it stands to reason that Jesus is not commanding us to hate our family – for that would go against his own teaching and character. Why then, would Jesus choose the word “hate” in this passage, and what does He mean?

Jesus used that word for a reason. He is not just making an arbitrary overstatement for dramatic effect. I believe this passage is designed to help us understand the priority of our relationship to Him, and how it affects every other endeavor in our lives.

Most scholars believe Jesus uses this word here to help us see how our families should be viewed in comparison to, or in light of our devotion to and love for God.

I suspect that Jesus is warning us, in a jolting way, not to simply use pragmatism to determine whether or not we will follow Christ. The call of discipleship is not a pragmatic decision based on how Jesus can make our lives or relationships work better. Nor is it a decision based on how good it makes us feel. These, by the way, are the standards by which we typically make decisions – and I believe it’s the issue Jesus is speaking to here.

Let’s look at the progression of the whole discourse. The passage is broken into 4 parts. I want us to connect those parts to each other, and to connect what Jesus is saying to us who wish to “come after him.”

The four parts of this passage are:

  1. If you don’t hate – don’t follow.
  2. If you can’t finish – don’t start.
  3. If you can’t win – don’t fight.
  4. The issue with unsalty salt.

So let’s walk through these and see if we can understand how they relate to the call to follow Jesus.

1)  If You Don’t Hate – You Can’t Follow

The first thing Jesus says is if you don’t hate the most precious people to you, you cannot be His disciple. On the face of it, this is a strange and hard statement. Hating our moms, dads, siblings, and even ourselves, carries some very difficult imagery and, for some, very painful memories.

We are shocked by the statement as we wonder, how can we follow Jesus if this is what is required? Notice we are trying to evaluate the cost based on how we feel about what is being asked of us. So we must start with this question: With what standard am I going to evaluate what Jesus asks me to do?

This section is followed by two scenarios that address the very idea of evaluation. Jesus discusses counting the cost of building a tower and of going to war. His listeners would be very familiar with building a tower (the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11) and with fighting a lopsided battle (the Story of Gideon in Judges 7). So let’s identify what criteria Jesus is using to evaluate whether you should build or go to war.

2) If You Can’t Finish – Don’t Start

The first scenario offered is the builder wanting to build a tower. It’s a lengthy, costly undertaking to build a tower. If you can’t afford to finish it, then don’t start it. Otherwise, people will make fun of you for your half-built tower, poor planning, and lack of funds.

Makes sense, right?

But notice, Jesus begins this scenario with a question. He places his listeners in a hypothetical situation, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower,” and then He asks, “Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost …” It’s not a declarative teaching from Jesus on how to build a tower, it’s a revealing of how we typically approach things like tower building.

3) If You Can’t Win – Don’t Fight

The second scenario is the king who is going to war. If he assesses that his 10,000 men can’t defeat the 20,000 men of his enemy, he should send a delegation to negotiate terms of peace. Also makes sense, right?

The negotiation advice seems based not on valuing peace above war, but on actively pacifying the enemy because it doesn’t look like you can possibly win – and a loss will be costly and embarrassing. It might even cost you your life.
Again, the scenario begins with, “suppose a king is about to go to war, won’t he first …”

What do these scenarios Jesus sets up have in common? Each scenario emphasizes evaluating decisions according to criteria from a human perspective. The theme of these scenarios is defining and deciding based on what you could lose, or how you could feel.

Jesus points out we just do some simple math to decide whether or not we should build, or fight, or make peace. There is no consideration for faith or trust or dependence on God’s work. It is pure pragmatism. The illustrations of counting the cost of a building or sizing up a fight are based on what we can see from our perspective, without taking God into account.

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust the Lord with all of your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding.”

We are warned not to trust in our own understanding of things. There is another perspective. That perspective is found in the context of our relationship with Christ. In fact, we cannot rightly understand any other thing – buildings, or wars, or loved ones – apart from this.

So if we resist God’s call to come to Him because we’re more committed to our love of our families, we will never understand what it means or how to truly love them.

If we only start what we can finish we will never walk by faith.

If we only fight what we can win, we’ll never see God fight for us.

We have to exchange our pragmatic, feelings-based way of seeing for another. Everything finds its meaning and purpose within the context of its relationship to God.
Jesus is not asking you to hate your mother any more than he is suggesting that you shouldn’t try something because you aren’t certain you will succeed. He is telling us that we have to release the things our hearts hold onto, and the wisdom that our minds cling to, in order to follow Him. Because those things will find their full meaning in the light of our relationship with Him.

4) The Issue with Unsalted Salt

The last part of this passage reveals the tragedy of not realizing everything (including us) finds its full meaning in light of our relationship with Jesus. He asks, “What if salt loses its saltiness?” That doesn’t sound too tragic at first glance. But the implications of salt losing the essence of what it means to be salt would mean it no longer functions as or has value for what it was created and intended to be.

So what about us? What if a human loses the essence of what it means to be human? They will never become what they were created and intended to be.
The essence of being human is found in Genesis – we are the creatures made to bear the image of God and be in relationship with Him. I’m sure most days you get up, maybe make some coffee, and try to get to work on time, feeling frustrated with the traffic, and you don’t feel much like the glory of the image of God. That’s because apart from a close relationship with Christ, we easily lose our essence and purpose.

The restoration of that is found in the path of discipleship.

So when we look into the parts of this passage with ears to hear, we discover that it is in following Jesus that we are empowered to love our spouses and honor our parents. We see that it is in following Jesus that we are able to do things that seem impossible. It is in following Jesus that we can lead with courage, in spite of the fear we might feel over losing what matters to us. Or, in spite of the fear we can feel when odds are stacked against us.

It’s in following Jesus that we learn to operate from His perspective and for His purposes, and not just our own.

With this passage Jesus is establishing the stakes of what it means to follow Him. You can’t hold onto anything so tightly or so fearfully that you lose your essence – or you will also lose everything you are trying to hold onto.

When we learn to walk with God by following Jesus, everything finds it meaning and context. Our hopes, our dreams, our endeavors, our disappointments, and every relationship we have.

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“Covered” Part 2 | Notes/Recap

When it comes to our mind, we all have default destinations about who we are and how shame defines and shapes our identity. Thanks to shame, these destinations are programmed into our brain. No matter how much self-effort we exert into covering our shame, we come back to these destinations over and over again.

Shame creeps in anytime there is a question mark about our worth. When shame makes an appearance, our mind gravitates towards these thoughts and questions. With little to no resistance, we drift towards believing these horrible lies. And these lies are unbelievably powerful.

This is why we must refuse to head down the destructive path where shame and guilt reside. We have to realize we can believe wrong things, especially when it comes to our shame.

Shame demands to be covered. However, what we cover it with will define who we are. If love doesn’t cover our sin, something else will. For many of us, we attempt to use will power to wish shame away. But, our self-effort is incapable of covering our shame.

It takes a deep love to reach deep shame. And the only love deep enough to eradicate sin from the picture is the sacrificial love of Christ. When you are covered by His love, you are able to bear His image and let go of the false images of yourself you’ve held on to for far too long.

 

Message Notes

ASSUMPTIONS

  • You are MADE to be LOVED!
  • You are MADE to be KNOWN!

The collision of the deep desire to be loved & the deep desire to be known is:

If they really KNEW-
Would they still LOVE?

SHAME

The more we are known the less we are loved.

ASSUMPTIONS

  • You are MADE to be LOVED!
  • You are MADE to be KNOWN!
  •  You can believe WRONG things!

THE DRIVE OF SHAME

Shame drives you make right the things you know are not.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

- 1 John 1:8-9

 THE DRIVE OF SHAME

Your Shame will always work to define You!

 No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.

- Arthur Dimmesdale

SHAME VORTEX

Shame + Isolation = ID

In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

- Ephesians 2:7-10

 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

- 1 Peter 4:8

Love covers a multitude of Sin.

If love doesn’t cover SIN- Something else will.

 

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“Covered” Part 1 | Notes/Recap

Shame is part of the human condition. It taints each one of our stories. Hiding and masking are natural instincts. Covering ourselves is what we do best. Each one of us wrestles with a desire to be known and a desire to be loved. Unfortunately, we fall for the trap of shame: the more we are known the less we are loved. In an attempt to deal with our shame, as well as avoid vulnerability, we try to numb, control, perfect and pretend the shame away. These behaviors aren’t so much coping mechanisms as they are our attempts at hiding and covering up.

Since shame influences our relationships, our worldview, our identity, and our perspective we need to attack shame. The first part of the battle is to identify it and call shame out. We can’t go into battle against something nameless. If we don’t, it remains in the emotional background continuing to grow and spread. Instead we must identify and confess our shame. It begins by asking a simple, yet unbelievably heart piercing question: What are we covering up? Confession is uncovering what is covered. Yes, shame is a part of all of our lives. But, it doesn’t need to be a stain that must remain hidden. Instead if we are courageous enough, it can become the canvas for the Gospel to paint the picture our redemption.

 

Message Notes

ASSUMPTIONS

You are MADE to be LOVED!
You are MADE to be KNOWN!

The collision of the deep desire to be loved & the deep desire to be known is:

If they really KNEW -
Would they still LOVE?

The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

- Genesis 2:25

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves

- Genesis 3:7

Shame

The more we are known the less we are loved.

Deal with Shame

We NUMB!
We CONTROL!
We PERFECT!
We PRETEND! 

 

Deal with Shame

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

- 1 John 1:8-9

Uncovered

Confession is uncovering what’s Covered

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Night of Worship Setlist Revealed

We’d love to have you join us at the upcoming Night of Worship on Friday August 29th at 7:00pm. We will spend time praying and worshiping as a church as well as sharing in communion together. As our bands & worship leaders prepare, you can prepare too. Below, you’ll see a set list for the evening in Spotify… this way, you can get familiar with the songs before we ask you to sing them with us (especially any new ones).

It will be a fantastic night to worship our great God together. Remember, there is no childcare for Night of Worship, so be sure to get your sitters lined up soon! We’ll see you all Friday August 29th at 7:00pm!

Setlist

Previous Night of Worship